Consultative meetings have become a popular and populist means in “taking along” elected members from both sides of the aisle including apex tribe organisations, political parties, CSOs, church etc to achieve some consensus on issue of crucial and urgent public importance. Consultative meetings were re-introduced to Nagaland since 2003 first, with regard to the Naga political issue and concluding without any breakthrough since none of the invitees were involved in holding negotiations with the government of India, even including the state government leaders themselves. Various consultative meetings during the past nearly two decades discussed the contentious prohibition act(NLTP Act) several times. The government had felt the need to lift the Act but was wary of the influential church organisations and has kept the issue on the back burner for years. The other issue has been the divisive Act on reservation of 33% seats for women in Urban Local Body elections. The state government had attempted to go ahead with the Act but it met with huge resistance that also led to violent protests in 2017. Some women activists filed a PIL in the Supreme Court against over the issue in the light of the 74th Amendment. Some of the litigants reportedly withdrew their names and the case was taken up by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). The Supreme Court recently issued a notice on the state government to implement the reservation in ULBs and giving the latter six weeks w.e.f February 23, 2022 to fulfil the constitutional obligation. The government had planned to hold consultative meeting on March 9 to discuss four main issues- NTLP Act, AFSPA, Women Reservation and Naga political issue. However, the notification was modified later and eventually only two subjects were chosen for discussion- Women quota and Naga political issue. In the light of the Supreme Court notice which made it clear to the state that women quota under the 74th Amendment was not an option but an obligation, the state’s attorney general had explained the matter to around 120 invitees that included 60 elected members and representatives of tribe organisations and CSOs etc. The attendees may have in principle accepted the court notice but much still remains to be done before implementing it. The other subject, Naga political issue, is as old as the topic. Consultations on the political issue since 2003 continued even after signing of the Framework Agreement on August 3,2015, between government of India with NSCN(I-M) and later Agreed Position on November 17,2017 between government of India with the seven-member NNPGs. Needless to say, even when the prime minister Narendra Modi’s desire to conclude the endless negotiations was mentioned as October 31,2019, the government continued to hold consultative meetings. The forum split when NPF in 2020 formed its Political Affairs Mission(PAM) highlighting the contradiction of legislators who have been urging upon all factions to unite for solution. Later, on the advice of union home minister Amit Shah, both chief minister Neiphiu Rio and NPF leader T.R.Zeliang rejoined their efforts under a new name Core Committee on Naga Political Issue. Besides just having a meeting, consultations would be helpful if invitees are well informed and guided by wisdom not politics. However, consensus does not guarantee implementation if they are not in consonance with what the government wants. Perhaps this is the fate that had befallen various reports such as HPC on illegal taxation, RIIN, AFSPA recent Oting, NLTP Act etc.
Launched on December 3, 1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.